Where in Maine?

Where in Maine?, Down East Magazine

Can you identify this mill building and the river on which it sits?

Photographed by Benjamin Williamson

A narrow, twisting stream that ambles through farmland and suburbs for most of its 39 miles, the river flowing beneath this 159-year-old mill reveals its wild side in the last town on its route to the sea. Indeed, the town was built to take advantage of the river’s tumultuous power, created by a series of four waterfalls in the span of one mile. Starting in the 17th century and continuing well into the 20th, scores of mills and factories — producing boards, flour, paper, shoes, bricks, you name it — sprang up along the river’s banks. Built on the simply named Second Falls, the mill pictured here originally spun cotton into yarn. Later, it was a cordage factory, producing ropes for everything from tying boats to hoisting loads out of mines. These days, it houses more than a dozen tenants, from personal trainers to web designers, who reap a different kind of energy from the tumbling water that they enjoy watching out their office windows.


 

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